Friday, January 30, 2009

last night

Last night:

It's 9pm, and I am spent.  Exhausted.  Pooped, if you will.  J's still working.  A's been fighting night sleep, fighting naps, making him tired and cranky and me tired and ineffective.  We've left a messy wake behind us all around the house- dishes, dirty clothes, avocado caked high chair- and just the thought of cleaning it up makes my head hurt.  Our "bedtime routine" ended an hour ago, without the sleeping baby the books promise.  He's got itty bitty bags under his itty bitty eyes.  He's fussing, then crying, then fussing some more.  He's dry, he's clean, he's fed, he's a perfectly moderate temperature.  Yet, there's no quieting him, much less lulling him to sleep.  Finally, I'm out of ideas (we've bounced, rocked, sung, cuddled).  I set my squirming, tired baby in his bouncy chair, throw my pillow on the floor beside it, and sprawl out on the floor, my hand resting on his pudgy belly so he knows I'm here, he's not alone, I'm trying.

I close my eyes, listen to his grunts and cries as they start to quiet and slow.  The noises taper off, it gets quiet, and I lay there afraid to move.  I'm sure he's fallen asleep.  Sure of it.  I sigh, relieved, settle into my pillow- the mess will wait.  Just as I doze off, I feel five tiny, warm fingers reach out toward my hand (still on his belly)....then those fingers wrap around my thumb.  I lift my head, squint to see.  In the darkness, I see a sleepy, gummy grin looking right back at me, unwavering, happy.  I stifle a laugh, wonder if he's even truly awake....then a giggle.  A happy, content, "gotcha, mom" giggle.  A tiny, unconscious confirmation that he's happy, I'm not doing so badly, he knows he's loved and cherished even in the witching hours.

Seriously, being his mommy is so, so awesome.  So fulfilling, even in those moments where I don't think I have one tiny ounce of patience or energy or affection to give.....five tiny fingers and one sleepy giggle change it all, turn the mood all around, remind me how fortunate I am.  How blessed.  Still tired, but mindful that he won't be tiny forever, those fingers will grow, the smiles and giggles saved for friends, for girls, for fart jokes.  For now, they're ours to cherish, day and night.

A video of Anderson today.  He's mastered the high chair and is eating like a pro.  Carrots, avocados, and apples so far.  Sweet potatoes and peas beckon in the week to come.  And just this week, he likes toys.  Reaches out for them, shakes them around, tosses them down and looks surprised that they're gone.  They reappear, he throws them back down.  Aahhh, mommy fetch.  Something tells me this "game" will lose its' appeal (to ME) rather quickly.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

petting zoo

I have no idea where he'd have gotten this love for animals....lately, the pets' every move is watched intently by A, and as his hand/eye coordination improves, nobody is safe.  Ralph's over it- his whiskers were yanked mercilessly yesterday morning, and he peed in a bouncy chair to remind us who is boss.  Griffin prefers to protect A from a safe distance, or wait until he falls asleep and lick his hands clean of any food debris (I know, ick).  But George, sweet George....he likes his baby.

Fortunately, Goerge is as patient and mellow as he is overfed.



Monday, January 26, 2009

carrots: at party

This has to be a blog record- third consecutive post sadly lacking in Anderson adorability.  I'd fully intended to share a fun shot of A's sweet little mug smeared with carrot puree, but alas, his first taste of carrots went SO smashingly that not a bit ended up on his face.  All in his tummy.  Where yes, since you asked (or not), there is a party.  So yummy.  Anyway, back to the carrots.  Anderson LOVES his carrots.  Rice cereal was tolerated, oat cereal was spat across the kitchen with a look of complete disdain, but carrots were a success.  

I'm feeling pretty proud of my first organic baby food making endeavor.  Great for baby, great for the pocketbook, not so bad for the environment either.  We'd intended to go with avocados for their "superfood" qualities, but the baby food book and A's pediatrician suggested carrots for their baby-palate-enticing sweetness.  And since Doctor Buzzkill said pureed Diet Coke wasn't what she meant by "sweetness", we went with the carrots.

As for sleeping...this one is a work in progress.  I was feeling bombarded by extremes, and so overwhelmed with the idea of "doing it wrong".  Dr. Sears says "cuddle it out".  Dr. Ferber says "cry it out".  My mommy instinct says neither is just right for our boy.  So for now, we're following A's cues, working on routines, just observing what works and what doesn't.  And fluke or not, we've gotten 6 uninterrupted hours out of A the past few nights.  Not the 9 or 10 he spoiled us with in earlier days, but an improvement.   

In the meantime, for those I completely confused with that wacky 'tummy party' talk in paragraph one, here's the source of my insanity.  It's frighteningly addictive.  J and I can be spotted jigging around our kitchen singing about the ramen in our tummy most any evening of the week.  The neighbors, I'm sure they wonder.....

Friday, January 23, 2009

retainers and jorts

We're past tired.  We're on to exhaustion and diminished brain function.  I had to mentally divide $500 by five earlier, and came up with $200.  Math's never been my strong suit, but seriously, that's just sad.  

I visited the orthodontist today.  Following the lead of Lindsay Lohan, my braces-straightened teeth are having a relapse.  Thanks to pregnancy hormones and a total lack of retainer usage for the past 5 years or so, they're shifting.  So I need a spring retainer.  How youthful!  The appointment was fine, it was the time I spent in the waiting room surrounded by moody, whiny teenagers that was bothersome.  First off, I was the only one without an iPod, and that made me feel kind of old and very unhip.  Secondly, it scares the daylights out of me that someday my sweet cuddly little Anderson will be a teenager.  A pimply, cranky, ungrateful teenager.  (Come on, no matter how good your parenting, everyone's teen will be cranky and ungrateful at some point.  Pimply too, though that has not much to do with parenting.)  They sat sulking, text messaging, iPod-fiddling, but most sadly.... pointedly parent ignoring.  Because parents are LAME.  The same parents that withstood the all night screaming marathons of your infancy, wiped your poopies, and gave up their money, their figure, and their sanity for your existence and well being- they become super LAME when puberty hits, maybe even sooner.  This makes me very sad.  But I tell you what, if Anderson even THINKS of sassing off to me like one surly, ratty haired little lady did to her mom ("mom, I don't owe you shit" was her response to her mother's reminder that she still owed her $50 for that cell phone to replace the iPhone she lost, so she was most certainly not receiving another $50 for "some new jean shorts")....well, I'll spank his retainered little butt into next week if that happens.

(And why she wanted new jorts is beyond me.  Someone needs to pay more attention to her Teen Vogue or Seventeen or Sassy or whateverthehell snotty junior high school girls read these days- pretty sure jorts went out of mainstream fashion acceptability quite some time ago.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

i need a nap

I really, really do need a nap.  And why, you might ask, am I not napping?  Now that sweet Monkey, the nocturnal wonder, is peacefully in napland after an hour of effort?  Because, in my infinite wisdom, I kept his blanket wrapped around him when I finally placed him into his crib.  Unwrapping brought with it the risk of awakening, and I was NOT risking awakening.  So now I will not/can not go to sleep, because I fear he'll wrap said blanket around his face and cut off his air supply.  And since I'm more sleep deprived than I think I've ever been, if I were to fall asleep, I doubt I'd hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant (like Bethany).  Much less a wee infant struggling with his blankie.  

So here I am, breaking from work and laundry, chugging Diet Coke and watching the video monitor like a hawk to ensure the blanket stays wrapped around his trunk and not his sweetly innocent little face.

Tired.  So, so tired.  But accepting of the fact that this is life with a baby, the bad comes with the good, and the good is oh-so-good, so fun, so very rewarding.  And as Anderson's future MIL kindly pointed out, I'd be wise to "get used to 20 minute intervals of sleep until Anderson is 13 and you can't get him out of bed before noon."  True, true.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Eating, day 2.  More curious, more willing to swallow, less concerned that his mommy is trying to kill him with a spoon.
You know how you confirm that you're fully absorbed in motherhood?  You get SO focused on the intricacies of A's bedtime routine and encouraging him to drift off to la-la land with as little conflict/parental involvement as possible so you can get enough sleep to function like a normal human being for a change that you TOTALLY FORGET AMERICAN IDOL IS ON.  FOR THE SECOND NIGHT IN A ROW.  Tragic.  Weep for me, internet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

a momentous day

January 20, 2009.  A day for the history books......Anderson awoke in his very own room in his very own crib (not after a restful nights' sleep....those efforts have yet to begin in earnest).  Then it was on to adventures in eating- baby's first spoon feeding!  There was that whole "Barack Obama becomes president" thing, too.  Fascinating to watch no matter your political persuasion.  

a look at A getting his first taste of rice cereal:

looking eager to get started:
looking a little less confident in our parenting skills:
looking very surprised by this very new sensation:
taking part in American history:
ralph just doesn't believe in change.  
a sad day for this right wing kitty.

Monday, January 19, 2009

ch ch ch changes

4 month appointment recap:

Shots at 4 months are markedly less stressful for baby and mother.  He cried minimally, my eyes stayed dry.  When the medical tech left and A's tears abruptly stopped, he looked at me in panic and I could almost read his mind "get me the HECK outta here before that crazy lady comes back!"  We left, we browsed at the bookstore, and he was throwing flirty grins at little girls by the time we checked out.  Back to his charming self.

Still biggie sized, but not as much as I'd assumed.  17 pounds of fun, putting him in the 90% range.  (For you non-moms, this means 90% of United States baby boys his age weigh less than A, a plump 10% minority weigh more.)  25.5 inches long (75%), a 17.75 inch head (97%). 

We begin adventures in eating tomorrow.  Solid foods, here we come.  Expect pictures of a food smeared baby mug, naturally.  Just boring rice and oats to start, but I've got a book on organic homemade baby food all ready to go after those go down with ease.  No surprise, we'll be shopping Whole Foods (read: Whole Paycheck) for the makings of A's homemade organic menu.....while J and I will continue to eat whatever's fast and on sale at the neighborhood grocer.

Sleeping.  Oh, Anderson.  He's been a handful in this area of late.  After sleeping oh-so-soundly for half his life, he decided he was making our lives far too easy and mixed it up a bit.  Mixed it up = up screaming 3-4 times a night, refusing to go back down without a bottle, usually also refusing to return to his own bed.  No good.  His doctor (who I trust and respect) says it's time for some sleep training, "Ferberizing" if you will.  Oh, boy.  Mama's having a tough time with this one because this method involves some crying.  For babies, for mommies, very likely for soft hearted daddies too.  But in my heart, I know he's ready.  Cross your fingers that this is a quick and semi-painless process.

That's all she writes today.  Reading up on sleep methodology, folding laundry, awaiting A's wake up and a stroll around the 'hood.  

Saturday, January 17, 2009

4 months

Our sweet Monkey, 4 months old today. 
4 short months ago, I had no idea....

his first cry would change everything

i had this much love to give.  

bald could be so, so beautiful.

baby gap and carter's would excite me more than nordstrom or pottery barn. 

how my faith would grow.

that his naptime was really more important for mom than baby.

his giggle would be addictive, endlessly entertaining.

i was capable of picking someone else's nose.

i'd think my baby was adorable at 3am.  screaming.  with poopy pants. 

how much more i'd love my husband for giving me this gift.

how much more i'd love my husband by seeing him cloned in miniature.

how much more i'd love our parents for knowing they love us this same way.

air travel would require days of strategizing, a two page list, and anxiety meds.

that i've got a talent for catching puke in midair.

i wouldn't remember to eat lunch.  or dinner.

i would see my world in a new way, because it's his world now too.

that i wouldn't miss my pre-baby hips.  that much.

that it's actually possible for your heart to feel like bursting with love.

how much i could learn about myself by forgetting about myself entirely. 

just one more, I can't resist.  the toes!

Friday, January 16, 2009

a merging of identities

In my mailbox today:

Superficial celebrity gossip hound meets family focused domesticated mommy.  One identity has an indecently curious desire to read Kendra telling all about her "bizarre life with Hef"....the eager novice mommy part of me is itching to learn why it is that "kids get sicker at night".  And better yet, "how to help- fast!"   

Nothing groundbreaking here, just (I thought) a curious combination of the old and new.   No worries, dear friends, I won't be hanging mom jeans next to my Sevens anytime soon.  Or anytime ever.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

frog legs

A's snack of choice these days?  Absolutely anything he can get into his mitts and yank into his mouth.  My hair, his toys, his blanket or bib, and when nothing tempting is within arms reach- his hands will do.  Watch A in action.  

Mmmmmm....frog legs.  A delicacy in many parts.

On another note, during the night, somebody swapped my calm little angel for a very wild boy.  A hyper, shouting, frat party animal of a baby awoke this morning.  I have never heard such a ruckus from A- he yelled at me, yelled at the kitty, yelled at his Einstein contraption with forceful conviction.  In a moment of sheer abandon, he even screeched at his own hand.  Moved to his bouncy chair, he kicked his toy bar down and when I tried to replace it, kicked me in response.  Feeding this new child was no easy task.  He wiggled and squirmed and spat milk to his eyebrows, then clawed into my hand when I pulled the bottle away.  Sheesh, A, what gives?   I mean, you're sort of entertaining and wickedly cute in this unrestrained spirit....but you're kind of exhausting, too.

He's napping now (swing nap, if you've been paying attention).  Let's hope whatever awakens is more "sweet baby A we know and love", less "kid who drank Red Bull for breakfast".

the magic swing

monday, 3:15pm
monkey waking from his swing nap

me: "J, did you move his swing to the middle of his room?"
J: "no, why would I move his swing to the middle of his room?"
me: "well, you HAD to have moved his swing, it's in the middle of his room."
J: "no, I didn't"
me: "yes, you did"
J: "no.  Actually, I saw you do it."
me: "you did?  Really?  Wowsa, these cold meds are wacky!"

tuesday, 3:30pm
monkey waking from his swing nap

me, to myself, in my head: "what.  the.  hell."
me, out loud, to swing: "how did you get to the middle of the room again?"
me, to myself, in my head: "self, no more cold meds for you.  You be trippin'!  And p.s., you're talking to a swing."

today, 3:20pm
monkey waking from his swing nap


Only then did I realize the culprit of this swing nap escapade.  During A's 2-3 hour afternoon nap, the force of the weight of Mister Ginormous (I estimate he's at the 20lb mark) is causing the swing to inch across his bedroom floor with every forward motion.  Phew.  No magic, no ghost, no Dayquil-fueled swing-moving blackout.  

Now I just need to talk to my dear husband about his little "I saw you do it" bit.  Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

sniffle sniffle

My nose is plugged, my ears are plugged, I'm a pale, flat haired mess in my super stylish baggy sweats.  I caught a nasty cold, karma's punishing response to my proud proclamation to mom just last week that "I haven't been sick in over a year"!  Doh.  So here I sit, buzzing on DayQuil, chugging water, and bonding with my Kleenex while Anderson plays an arms length away.  Poor kid's got to be wondering why his mom's holding him at arms length and being mighty stingy with the kisses and cuddles, but I'd really prefer the little guy not pick up this nasty little bug.   

On another note, I'm sending warm thoughts to my friends and family in the arctic heartland.  37 below?  BELOW?  My.  Gawd.  No.  Way.  I hurt for you.  At this moment, I'm thanking my lucky stars that I  fell for a Texan and not, say, a Minnesotan.  (No offense, Minnesotans.  Despite your purple people and propensity for casseroles of questionable ingredients, you know I love you.)  However, I enjoy my mild Texas winter (where 30s mean cold front and hill country freezes) with savory glee, knowing that I'll feel entirely different come July.  August.  September.  You know, when the shaded temperature is 105 for 3 weeks straight and I'm on my 3rd stick of deodorant that week and pretty sure I'll spontaneously burst into flames if I step outside my door?  Granted, this summer will be less painful without the whole "9 pound infant in my belly" factor....but still.  We'll get ours, too.  But for tonight, I'll cherish the fresh air coming through the open window and the morning walk I know awaits us when the sun comes out tomorrow.  My northern friends, hang on, crank the heat.  Dress in puffy layers.  Spring is coming.  Just keep moving so your feet don't freeze to the sidewalk.  Seriously.  That happens!

ps: Baby Hanson, where are you?  I've been waiting by my phone for that happy text all day!  Maybe you're dragging your feet because someone told you it's negative 13 degrees in your neck of the woods?

pps: for my favorite sorta-cousin-in-law Jackie-  vote for Murphy!  The cool kids are all doing it!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

meeting great grandpa

There's not been much time to write (or rest) since our return to Austin.  The suitcases are still half unpacked, there's still Christmas decor scattered about and a taxing list of phone calls unreturned and bills awaiting payment.  I've got a rock solid alibi though- A and I have been busy spending time with one of my very favorite people- my grandpa Gary!  He's visiting from North Dakota, enjoying some time in Texas while his farm sits snow covered during the long winter months.  (We did get to see grandma Inez too- she flew home earlier and is a little camera shy, so no photos to share.  But Grandma, we love you too and are so glad we got to spend an afternoon with you!)  

Grandpa Gary, great grandson Anderson, granddaughter Chloe

As for the lack of time to rest, that's (no)thanks to Mister Stinky Pants.  The little one apparently decided naps are for wussies.  He also decided 4am is the new 9am, and that 6am is ALSO the new 9am.  We're not sleeping much around here the past few days, and I'm hoping it's temporary, because I'm not loving my sleepy stupor.  This morning I walked to the mailbox and instead of inserting my outgoing mail into the outgoing mail slot, I dropped my mailbox key in.  Then proceeded to walk up the neighbors' driveway on the way home and get to the front porch before I realized the place looked a little unfamiliar.  Then dressed Anderson in a onesie and didn't notice the lack of a diaper until I went to pull his pants up and thought they felt a little loose.  (That could have ended messily.)  Send your "sleepy baby dust" my way and hope along with me that this is just a vacation hangover A's wearing off.  

A happy list, because I'm too tired to blog coherently:
American Idol.  This week.  My couch.  I'll be there.
My new MacBook, my new love.  So sleek.  So amiable.
Megan & Ryan's baby- THIS WEEK!  
Excitement for Auntie Lauren!
Cold front.  Really, just an excuse to wear Uggs and complain.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

bliss, defined

Bliss is:

-An impromptu sunset photo session in Laguna, gorgeous sunset rivaled only by my gorgeous family.
-2 weeks of mom's home cooking. Unfortunately, the pancakes and desserts are less than blissful settled in as extra volume on my midsection. Ah, whatever. Diet starts tomorrow.
-The Bachelor kicking off its 89th season. Another parade of intoxicated idiocy, phony amour forged over stale roses. I'll be glued to every trainwreck minute. My money's on the widow with the eye lift or the ex-Cowboy cheerleader.
-The way motherhood somehow fits better each and every day. Just when I think I CAN'T love this kid any more, I couldn't possibly be ANY happier to be his mommy....I wake up the next morning to his chubby little grin and discover more love, more eagerness to teach and guide and give, more laughter to share.

Bliss is not:
-Anderson pooping so forcefully while we were out to dinner tonight that said poop shot out his diaper and up his back. Not down his legs, up his back. This, dear friends, is a baby phenomenon I have yet to figure out. How can poop go UP ones BACK when one is definitely not standing on ones head? How do babies poop UPWARDS? The stench by the time we got home to handle this toxic predicament, I tell you, it could have taken the paint off the walls.
-Leaving California tomorrow. The problem with having a family as wonderfully fun, kind, and comfortable as this one is that at some point, the goodbye comes around.

Monday, January 5, 2009

no news

Still in California, still in bed with my snuggly boys, still really loving Santa for thinking I was a very, very good girl and bringing me lots of fun new gifts. Two more days of vacation, then back to real life in the ATX, my pet-babies, and regular blogging.